Death Takes a Holiday OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • BACKSTAGE

  • NY 1

  • TM

  • AMNY

Opening Night:
July 21, 2011
Closing:
September 4, 2011

Theater: Laura Pels Theatre / 111 West 46th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

In Death Takes a Holiday, it's just after the first World War and the loneliest of souls arrives at an Italian villa disguised as a handsome young Prince, and for the first time experiences the joys and heartbreaks of life. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman, the mysterious stranger discovers that love may in fact be stronger than death. Directed by Tony® winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), this soaring tale of love is adapted by Tony®-winning writers Peter Stone (1776) and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray), and features lush, romantic songs by Tony® winner Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic).

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Death Takes a Holiday

    Set Aside That Scythe, and Let’s Put on a Show

    Charles Isherwood

    July 21, 2011: Lamenting the overwhelming burden of his job in one lush, soaring number after another, the Grim Reaper sings like a dream in the new musical “Death Takes a Holiday.” As played by the handsome British actor Julian Ovenden, he looks pretty slick too, particularly when he dons the guise of a Russian prince to play hooky from his corpse-culling duties and mingle with some swells in a swanky Italian villa. Small wonder that a voyage into the great unknown holds a strange allure for the imperiled heroine of this gorgeously sung but fusty musical, which opened on Thursday night at the Laura Pels Theater in a Roundabout Theater Company production. (Mr. Ovenden, seen in a preview performance, missed opening night because of illness and is expected back by next week.)

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Death Takes a Holiday

    Death Takes a Holiday

    Erik Haagensen

    July 21, 2011: There is no greater fan of the narrative-driven, character-based, non–rock score musical than I. So I have been greatly anticipating "Death Takes a Holiday," with its book by two giants of the genre—Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan—and a score by the classically trained Maury Yeston. The catch? The source material, an Italian stage fantasy by Alberto Casella rewritten for Broadway by Walter Ferris in 1929 and also the inspiration for the 1998 Brad Pitt film "Meet Joe Black," is a delicate mood piece with little action. How would this trio of smart writers address that problem? Sadly, they haven't. With the ubiquitous Doug Hughes seeming out of his element directing a musical, this "Death" is no holiday.

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  • NY1 REVIEW OF Death Takes a Holiday

    Death Takes a Holiday

    Roma Torre

    July 21, 2011: "Death Takes A Holiday" is, in a word, "enchanting." Based on a 1920s play, it was adapted for the screen in 1934 and later inspired the Brad Pitt movie "Meet Joe Black." It's a romantic melodrama that's unapologetically old-fashioned; and I salute the gifted creative team for having the courage of their convictions to play it fairly straight. But they also hedged their bets by hiring a cast to die for.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Death Takes a Holiday

    Death Takes a Holiday

    Andy Propst

    July 22, 2011: It's not the specter of the grim reaper that hangs most prominently over the new musical Death Takes a Holiday, now playing at the Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theater, it's the production's tenuousness and uncertain theatricality.

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  • AM NEW YORK REVIEW OF Death Takes a Holiday

    Death Takes a Holiday

    Matt Windman

    July 22, 2011: "Death Takes a Holiday," a new musical fantasy based on the 1934 Fredric March film about a friendly visit from the Grim Reaper (which also inspired the 1998 Brad Pitt remake "Meet Joe Black"), was originally intended as a star vehicle for Antonio Banderas on Broadway.

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